Occasionally, dental sealants will be applied to teeth to help prevent formation of cavities or buildup of plaque.
What are Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are a protective coating that are used to smooth out the pits, grooves and nooks that can be found on your back teeth. These rugged areas of the teeth can create little homes for bacteria and plaque to grow. Because these areas aren’t smooth, brushing and flossing can miss these areas.
Sealants are a transparent or a tooth colored material that is brushed onto the teeth and hardened to eliminate any of these areas and keep everything smooth.
What are the benefits of Dental Sealants?
As we talked out above, dental sealants help shore up vulnerable areas of your back teeth, by creating a smooth surface that your toothbrush can easily clean. Dental sealants are one of the most effective ways at helping children fight against tooth decay and cavities. The Center for Disease control even found in one of their studies that the application of dental sealants have shown to reduce the risk of decay in molars by 80%.
What is the process of getting Dental Sealants?
The application of dental sealants is a straightforward and easy process. There is no need for drills or excavation, so your child can be at ease:
Cleaning: Before a dental sealant is applied, the tooth or teeth that will receive the sealant will be cleaned off. This way we make sure no plaque, bacteria or decay gets hidden under the carpet!
Gel: After the tooth/teeth have been cleaned, a special gel will be placed on the top, or chewing, side of the tooth. The gel prepares the tooth for the dental sealant.
Sealant Application: After the gel has been placed and sets in, it will then be rinsed off and the tooth/teeth will be dried. Once dried, the liquid, plastic material of the sealant will be applied to the grooves or nooks of your tooth.
Hardening: Once applied we will use a special blue light that will harden the sealant onto the teeth.
And just like that, the dental sealant is applied! It’s all a pretty straightforward procedure that can be done relatively quickly in one appointment.
When are dental sealants applied? How long do dental sealants last?
Dental sealants are often applied when your child’s molars start to come in. The first set of dental sealants are usually applied around the age of 6 or 7 when their first set of molars grow in. Then they another set of dental sealants are applied again when children turn 12 or 13 as their permanent teeth have come in.
Once applied, dental sealants typically last 3 to 5 years and sometimes lasting as long as 10 years. At each of your visits, Dr. Dan will do a check of the sealants and ensure that they are still looking good or if a replacement may be needed.
Are dental sealants noticeable?
Dental sealants often come in either a transparent or white color. Therefore, they are created to blend in with teeth and to draw as little attention as possible. In addition, because sealants are usually only applied to the back teeth or molars, they are hidden in the back where most people will not be looking.